Tips for Saving Money on Your Dream Wedding

“Hey mom.”

“Guess what?!?”

“I’m engaged!”

I remember that moment like it was yesterday. My now wife calling her mom right after she said yes to a not so storybook proposal. I was a bit nervous.

My palms were sweaty. My heart was racing. My knee was killing me. But hearing her say yes, or actually having to read her lips because of the deafening ringing that was going on in my head, was one of the most amazing moments of my life.

Those feelings resurfaced shortly once I began to see how much this was going to cost. “They want how much for flowers?!”

After several discussions, my now wife and I realized we had to start budgeting like hell and stick to it. We had to identify what we actually need compared to expenditures we can avoid.

So, here are some unique tips on how you can save money but still have the wedding of your dreams.

Save Money on Your Wedding


In the age of technology, I don’t understand why everything can’t be done online. But, I realize the invitation are an important part of the process. But, we found ways to cut costs and save money.

You don’t have to go all out with your invitations. The bigger and more fancy they are, the more expensive they’ll be. Forget about the details and extra ‘fluff’. You don’t need the envelope liners and custom details.

Put all of your information on one card, or, go digital. “Instead of designing and mailing out invitations for your wedding, create your own wedding website”, says Karen Gramlich from Winey Blonde Events Co. She goes on to say, “guests rarely mail back invitations on time (if at all) anymore, and they will just get thrown away after the wedding.”

Allow your guests to respond digitally. It will be easier for them, save you money and you might actually get all of your responses in time. Which can be a bigger challenge than you think.

Have a Friend Marry You

No, we’re not trying to put any pastors/ministers out of business. But it can be expensive to pay the person who officiates your wedding.

Have a friend marry you. They can actually get ordained and officiate your wedding.

What better way to get married than having a close personal friend or family member officiate this special moment. It’s pretty cool. It can even be their wedding gift to you. Not to mention it will help calm your nerves.

Choose the Right Venue

Many well-known wedding venues can be expensive. They also require you to use their own vendors for your catering and other services on your big day. This limits your options and leaves you stuck, no matter how big the bill is.

A big venue might offer a wedding package, but it does it really save you money? “Do some research and compare whether the venue’s ‘wedding package’ will actually save you money, states Greg Jenkins, a partner with Bravo Productions.

He continues by saying, “many venues hire a florist to create the centerpieces and then mark up the price when offering them to you. It might be well worthwhile to hire your own florist. In addition, some deals sound to good to be true, and most of the time you end up spending more money in the long run. Save money, but be a wise and smart shopper in making decisions for your wedding needs.”

Shop around for your venue. Find one that allows you to shop for outside vendors. It can make a huge difference in the amount you will spend for your big day.

Timing of Your Wedding

A big, fancy, night wedding sounds great. It’s probably your dream wedding. But, remember it comes with a high level of expectations from your guests.

A night wedding requires a sit-down dinner, drinks, a party and more.

A day wedding, on the other hand, doesn’t have to promise as much. Finger foods, a glass of wine or champagne and some lite dancing fits the mood. Plus it’s less expensive.

Not only can the time of day help, but the day of the week and season, can have an impact on the cost as well, suggest Alexandria Proko owner of Alexandria Catherine Events. She states, If you can host your wedding on a Sunday, you’ll save quite a bit on venue and also in the off-season, traditionally winter or early spring.

Your Guest List

The hardest decisions you will have to make, other than which type of toaster to put on your registry, is who will be on the guest list. There are a lot of feelings to take into consideration, even from people you have spoken to in a little while. But, with each plate costing you some serious cash, you better consider your bank account as well.

Greg Jenkins with Bravo Productions puts things into perspective. “Reduce the number of invited guests to your reception. Instead of 200 guests, you can probably live with 150. If you multiply 50 people x $40 per person, the savings is $2,000.”

Be selective in who you invite to your wedding.

Hair and Makeup

I’m not saying that you need to do your hair and makeup yourself. Though that would definitely help cut back on how much you’ll spend.

Think about having a mobile wedding makeup artist and hairdresser come to you. Not only will it save you time, but it can be cheaper because they don’t have to worry about their booth rental fees and more.

Mobile hair and makeup artists can work with your schedule and your budget. Imagine trying to get your mom, 6 bridesmaids and yourself to the salon on time for your wedding day. Not imagine all of the bridesmaids that will be late and how long it will take to the venue. A lot can go wrong.

Forget about going to a salon.

Your Own Decor

Hours. And hours. And hours.

That’s how time we spent making our own decorations and centerpieces for the wedding. I hated doing it. More than you could imagine. But, after seeing how much we were saving, I bit the bullet and got it done.

Though it’s important to know what you can handle. “We love DIY friendly couples, but we always caution to focus on just a few small projects rather than large and time intensive tasks”, says Erin Supalo, owner and lead wedding planner at Vow & Knot Events. “We encourage a special touch, for example, hand-lettered escort cards or homemade favors, but always encourage using professional vendors for larger tasks like florals or photography. Many times couples will try and take on these larger to do’s and get so frustrated they end up hiring a professional at the last minute which can cost a great deal more.”

Make your own decorations, centerpieces and bouquets. It might seem like a serious pain. No, it actually is a serious pain. But, it can save you a lot of money.

Rent From the Right Source

If you’re using tables and chairs, make sure to rent from the right source.

Try using a local church or a community center. They are always willing to help and won’t charge you a ridiculous amount like some of the party or wedding rental places.

What You Can Do to Start Saving

It’s important to start saving now for your wedding., especially if you are looking to shop now for a wedding dress. Once you have the money to start creating your dream wedding, at least you’ll have one less thing to think about.

With all of the unexpected costs that can come with a wedding, it’s crucial that you have some cushion in your wedding funds to make sure you can cover the costs without breaking the bank. Just like an emergency account you would have for your daily expenses.

So how can you start saving and budgeting for your wedding?

Well, one really simple thing you can do is look for ways to get free money or gift cards that will let you save money. Companies like J.C. Penney have an online survey that you can complete which lets you have a chance of winning gift cards. You can put the money you would save from the gift cards towards your wedding fund.

Another way is to use an app.

Qapital is a fun and user-friendly app that helps couples save for one goal such as their wedding or honeymoon. It can be easier to reach a financial goal when you’re able to track it together every day.

It’s also a great resource for bridesmaids and groomsmen to plan for that exciting bachelor or bachelorette weekend.

Learn more about Qapital and start saving money for your wedding today.

Just Remember

It’s a special and unforgettable day. But, it’s only one day. Make it as special as possible but remember that there will be expenses once that day is over. The bills, financial decisions and payments do not stop.

This day is for celebrating the beginning of a marriage. Not just one day.